Platinum, Inc. Donates a Four-Year Scholarship to the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, with Uniondale resident Lara, age 14, the recipient.
New York, May 4, 2022– The Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) and Platinum, Inc. announced today that Platinum, Inc. has donated a four-year scholarship through the JMTP Sponsored Scholarship Program. Through the program, individual or institutional donors sponsor a young tennis aspirant who would otherwise lack the financial capability to fully develop his or her tennis potential, leading to lifelong opportunity. Donors work with JMTP leadership to set the selection criteria for their named scholarship, and receive regular updates on their player’s progress.
Scholarship recipients will train exclusively with world-class coaches at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA). All sponsored scholarships provide for the year-round on- and off-court training necessary for a child to play and compete at a higher level. The Platinum, Inc. Scholarship has been awarded to Lara Afolayanka. Lara, a 14 year old female from Uniondale, NY, exhibits undeniable athletic potential, mental toughness, and desire to be the best she can be both on and off the court. “Lara is a special young adult who has grown so much as a tennis player in the last few years, and I cannot wait to see how much more she grows with the support she is receiving from Platinum,” said Patrick McEnroe, President of JMTP.
“At Platinum, we are strong believers in the impact that sports can have on youth, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said Jim Halpin, CEO of Platinum. “I have had the opportunity to meet Lara and watch her train and I was completely blown away. We look forward to supporting Lara over the next four years and helping her reach her goal of playing Division 1 college tennis.”
Lara’s father immigrated to the United States from Nigeria. Lara was awarded a scholarship to the Academy based on her athletic potential during tryouts and has since flourished from a tennis standpoint. Currently ranked 57 in the nation in her class by Tennis Recruiting, Lara regularly qualifies for national tournaments in her age division. She is balancing being a nationally ranked player and the associated travel demands with wanting to remain a top student in school. This scholarship will help Lara prepare to compete nationally and capture the attention of college coaches.
“Lara has exceptional athletic abilities. She is probably the fastest player in our Academy, male or female, any age, and is quite explosive in her movement around the court,” said Perry Aitchison, Lara’s coach. “A recent growth spurt shows she will be a tall player, and her athleticism has suffered little during the spurt. She has an aggressive, heavy topspin forehand weapon, and the serve is developing into a weapon to set that shot up.”
For more information on the JMTP Sponsored Scholarship Program, please visit: https://www.jmtpny.org/donate–support.html.
About the Johnny Mac Tennis Project
The Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) changes young lives by removing the racial, economic and social barriers to success through tennis. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by tennis legend John McEnroe, JMTP introduces the sport of tennis as a life-long health, fitness and social activity to thousands of under-resourced New York City area children. For a smaller group of dedicated young athletes, JMTP provides a pathway to success through competitive tennis, leading to college scholarships, careers in the industry, and, for a few, professional tennis careers and, perhaps, Grand Slam titles. Learn more: www.jmtpny.org.
About the John McEnroe Tennis Academy
In September 2010, tennis legend John McEnroe and SPORTIME partnered to launch the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, in John’s hometown of New York City, at the SPORTIME Randall’s Island Tennis Center in Manhattan. SPORTIME Randall’s Island is SPORTIME’s flagship location, and the flagship location of the Academy. In September 2012, JMTA expanded to SPORTIME Lake Isle, an 8-court, state-of-the art, year-round facility in lower Westchester, and to SPORTIME Syosset in central Long Island, an 11-court indoor facility that has long served as SPORTIME’s high performance training center on Long Island. In 2015, JMTA Summer Tennis Training was added in the Hamptons, at SPORTIME Amagansett, SPORTIME’s 34-court, seasonal, outdoor tennis facility in the Town of East Hampton. With the satellite locations, the JMTA brand currently covers 4 sites with a total of 73 tennis courts, serving approximately 1,500 players annually. John’s passion and belief is that great players can be developed in urban settings, while still having the opportunity to live at home, pursue their educational goals, and participate in a variety of sports and extracurricular activities. The Academy works to recruit the most talented and the most highly motivated young athletes in the New York Metropolitan area and beyond. Inspired by the vision and daily presence of Johnny Mac, under the guidance of JMTA Managing Director, Bennett Schlansky, executed daily by Co-Directors Patrick McEnroe and Lawrence Kleger, and featuring an international staff of tennis, athletic training and performance directors and coaches, JMTA delivers a complete on and off-court training program, including mental toughness, sports vision training, video analytics and more, designed to assure the best possible outcome for serious junior players. JMTA’s youngest students, who train with red and orange balls on 36’ and 60’ courts, participate in cutting-edge Mac Red and Mac Orange programs designed by world-renowned U-10 visionary Mike Barrell, who recently became SPORTIME’s Global Executive Director of Tennis, and executed by SPORTIME/JMTA’s expert U-10 directors and coaches. Learn more: www.SportimeNY.com/JMTA
About Platinum, Inc.
Platinum Inc. is the leading restoration and maintenance service provider in the New York Metropolitan area, servicing over 50% of the major commercial buildings in Manhattan.
Banner Image: Tennis player. Image Credit – cottonbro